Suspicious / Unattended Item

If you encounter a SUSPICIOUS item unexpectedly:

  • Remain calm.
  • Do not touch, tamper with, or move the item.
  • Call 9-1-1.
  • If you feel that you are in immediate danger, calmly evacuate the area.
  • Follow instructions from public safety officials.

If you encounter an UNATTENDED item:

  • Treat with caution.
  • Try to determine the owner.
  • Report to supervisor or building official.

Use the HOT process to help you determine if an item is suspicious or unattended.

  • Hidden – Is the item placed out of sight or does it appear to have been purposely concealed?
  • Obviously suspicious – Does the item contain unexplainable wires or electronics, or other bomb-like components?
  • Not Typical- Is the item out of place for this location or potentially related to a threat?


UF Police Department (UFPD)


Department of Homeland Security – Unattended vs. Suspicious Item Poster

Version Date: March 2024